Knobel dialing up Vail voters
VAIL – Peter Knobel almost seems more like a politician than a developer these days.The owner of the Crossroads building is reaching out to residents asking them how they will vote in an election on the proposed redevelopment of his building.He wants to take a personal approach to educating people about his project and finding out what their stance is, he said. A townwide vote is expected to take place in July.The conference room in his office is littered with voter rolls and messages to call back voters – as well as renderings of the building he wants to build. It includes condos, a 10-lane bowling alley, a three-screen movie theater, an ice rink/public plaza, stores and restaurants. He calls it polling, not campaigning.”We’re doing our own personal polling,” he said.He also wants to make sure residents show up at the polls in July.Opponents will have their own core of supporters who will show up, he said. He wants to make sure proponents of Crossroads will show up, too.If all registered voters come to the polls, he said, 75-80 percent would vote in favor of Crossroads.
Mark Conlin, a resident of East Vail, said he got a call from Knobel two or three weeks ago.Conlin, who supports the Crossroads proposal, guessed that Knobel got his cell phone number from voter rolls or property owner lists. Conlin said he appreciated the personal contact.”It certainly shows more sincerity and effort than running a half-page ad in the (Vail) Daily,” Conlin said.Knobel said he feels like a politician “if this is what politicians do.””It might be more lobbyist than politician,” said Craig Cohn, Knobel’s director of sales and leasing.Knobel is even calling some people who signed the petition seeking the vote.Knobel said he’s part of the community, and wanted more personal contact than newspaper ads or other campaign materials.Most people already have an opinion about Crossroads, Knobel said.”Everybody knows about Crossroads,” he said.The Town Council approved the Crossroads redevelopment on March 21. But within a month of that decision, opponents gathered enough signatures – 10 percent of registered voters – to force reconsideration.Supporters say the proposal will bring much-needed vitality back to Vail’s core. Opponents say the project is too big and too tall and that Knobel should reduce the size of the proposal.Knobel has said he won’t reduce the size of the proposal.Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail, Colorado
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